Tax Investigations

One80’s leading tax investigations team is comprised of Chartered Tax Advisers and former HMRC (Inland Revenue) Inspectors who have decades of collective experience in assisting businesses and individuals who are subject to tax investigations and tax enquiries of all types. Our team has substantial insight into the attitudes, approaches and procedures adopted by HMRC and has a real life understanding of the boundaries within which it should operate.

Our team assists businesses and individuals where HMRC believes they have issues with income tax, capital gains tax, corporation tax, VAT, inheritance tax, PAYE and NICs, SDLT and other types of tax.

We regularly represent clients at Tax Tribunals and support clients and their legal representatives with tax analysis where necessary to support other types of litigation, including criminal enquiries.

Our clients come to us for our expertise in the following broad areas (click for more info):

A Tax Investigation is an official enquiry undertaken by HMRC which looks at the tax history of a client. Investigations vary in severity and there are numerous reasons for tax investigations and tax enquiries which can include (but are not limited to)

  • an apparent risk of tax loss when HMRC examines the return
  • a simple mistake or error or obvious fraud on a tax return
  • receipt of information from a whistle-blower
  • failure to submit tax returns
  • an apparent lack of means

When in receipt of letter from HMRC relating to a tax enquiry or investigation, it is important to identify the type of the tax enquiry this relates to and the risks attached.  HMRC won’t disclose the reason for the enquiry or what it thinks it knows, but with our expertise and experience we can usually figure it out. Understanding the reason for the enquiry is key to deciding the strategy for solving it.

If a client is aware of an irregularity in their tax affairs and are concerned about how to resolve it, is worried that they may be investigated or are already the subject of a tax investigation it is crucial that advice is sought from our experts at the earliest opportunity.  Tax investigations and enquiries can lead to serious financial penalties and sometimes even a prison sentence.

Tax evasion usually refers to the deliberate non-payment of tax that is legally due by, for example claiming to take advantage of non-existent loopholes in the law, attempting to conceal funds or under declaring income or overstating expenses on returns, or simply not doing any returns at all. Frequently this is dealt with by HMRC using their Code of Practice 9  (‘COP9’) or Contractual Disclosure Facility (‘CDF’) process.  Some people are not so lucky and are subject to a criminal investigation.

Our team has vast experience in dealing with COP9/CDF cases, proceeds of crime cases and criminal investigations as well as helping clients who have needed to make a proactive disclosure of fraud to HMRC.

We take our client through the relevant process with as little intrusion as possible, providing HMRC with a comprehensive analysis of the problems and argue for the best possible outcome in terms of tax and penalties. In criminal cases, we work closely with lawyers to get the best outcome.

In some instances where an error has been made (whether deliberate, careless or despite reasonable care) a disclosure needs to be made to HMRC.  These might be completely voluntary where HMRC is unaware of any problems or they may be prompted by HMRC,

There are several disclosure facilities available, depending on the type of issue, and whether or not it involved UK or offshore income.

One80 has significant experience in acting for clients, registering to make a disclosure to HMRC and undertaking the analysis to quantify the tax and complete the disclosure with the lowest possible level of penalties. We also negotiate time to pay where necessary.

HMRC continues to allocate significant resources to challenging aggressive tax avoidance. HMRC’s aim is persuade taxpayers to withdraw from existing arrangements, and not to enter any new ones. HMRC claim to have won over 90% of the recent avoidance cases it has taken to court – although of course HMRC only litigates the ones it thinks it can win!

Our team is well placed to deal with HMRC on the client’s behalf in any of the following areas:

  • Film Schemes
  • IR35
  • Disguised remuneration
  • EBT and EFRBS arrangements
  • Contractor Loan Schemes
  • Business property renovation schemes

We have negotiated settlement in many instances on the best possible terms and arranged time to pay where needed.

If you have received a letter from HMRC with regards to any of the following, One80’s tax investigations are well placed to advise:

  • COP9 fraud enquiries
  • COP8 enquiries
  • Criminal tax fraud investigations
  • HMRC direct tax, income tax, PAYE and VAT investigations / enquiries
  • Proceeds of crime enquiries
  • Employment Status Enquiries (IR35)
  • Disclosures of UK and Offshore tax liabilities
  • Settlement of avoidance schemes including film and EBT schemes
  • Penalty negotiations
  • Time to pay negotiations
  • Risk reviews for both the SAO and the Corporate Criminal Offence regimes